The study has been performed on tears of apparently healthy subjects who live and work in urban and rural areas, respectively. After the collection the following elements were investigated: chromium (Cr); arsenic (As); copper (Cu); zinc (Zn); selenium (Se); rubidium (Rb); barium (Ba); lead (Pb) and cobalt (Co). Significantly higher values of As were found in subjects living and working in rural areas as compared to those found in urban area residents (0.290 vs. 0.025; p<0.001). Conversely, Ba and Pb were significantly lower in rural area residents (1.10 vs. 2.50, p=0.027 and 1.70 vs. 1.10, p=0.057, respectively). Our data show that trace elements analysis in tears is possible; further studies could define if it could be a reliable biomarker in persons exposed to high concentration of trace elements due to working or environmental reasons.
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